Summary of lecture by International secretary of the German Medical Association - 2/11/2003

Dr Otmar Kloiber gave an interesting lecture on the different health care systems in the EU, and mutual recognition of qualifications in the EU.

The lecture was well attended. The Hon. Dr Francis Agius, parliamentary secretary for the care of the elderly, and His Excellency Dr Censu Tabone were amongst the distinguished guests.

In his lecture Dr Kloiber highlighted the two main systems of health care in Europe. The autonomous of “Bismarkian system” which was practiced in central Europe had little state influence and involved the payment of insurance premiums. This autonomous system still includes mechanisms of quality assurance. The other “Beveridge” type of system involving a national health care system, such as the UK, the Scandinavian countries and Malta, was state run, usually led by politicians.

Both systems were having problems with sustainability in Europe because of the increase in the aging population. When asked on what was being done in Germany Dr Kloiber said he was in favour of extending the pensionable age, however pensioners should also help sustain the burden of health care.

As regards to the mutual recognition of qualifications Dr Kloiber went over the present and the proposed directive by the European commission. At present all European citizens having certificates of training and specialization benefited from mutual and automatic recognition which had to be given within three months.

In the new directive however this was going to be greatly limited and individual countries could exercise their discretion and give licenses to practice on a case by case basis. He said that the German medical association and indeed the German government were against this proposed directive, so one had to wait for the final outcome. Dr Kloiber said he was optimistic that the proposed directive would be modified.

Dr Kloiber has given a lengthy interview to the "Malta independent on Sunday". This will probably be published on the 9th of November.

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